Right that’s it. I’m moving to Lincolnshire to this supremely elegant five bedroom house set in seven acres with a kitchen garden and a wild swimming pond. It’s on with Inigo for £1.1m and it’s the perfect place to hide away from the world and grow vegetables which you can then cook in your outdoor kitchen. Who’s in?
The first thing to note is probably the symmetry. Scientists have postulated that, as a general rule, we tend to agree that the most attractive people are those with the most symmetrical features. Of course, some of us may find that a little bland and Hollywood, but, as I said, it’s a general rule and the same applies to houses. This is almost cartoon-like in its simplicity and may well be a version of the first house many of us draw as children which may also be a reason why we are drawn to it.
Once inside though it’s anything but classic as there is a kitchen that runs from front to back – see above and below as well as a back kitchen and a huge utility room. It might be hard to find a use for all these spaces but when I live here I feel sure I will manage.
Note, if you were following the recent conversations about future-proofing and living with dementia – the glass fronted cabinets which allow you to see what is inside. They also match the wall behind which allows them to disappear into the wall and not dominate the space – not that there’s a shortage – but the point is that it will be for many and if you want cupboards rather than open shelves this can be a good way to keep the room feeling as open and uncluttered as possible.
It’s hard to be sure but I also think the lower cupboards have been set forward by about 15cm which allows for a shelve behind the cooker – for utensils – and also means the small upstand at the back of the worktop acts as a plate holder so you can store more things there that won’t fall over. Now that’s a clever idea. I set my units forward by 30cm so my open shelves didn’t encroach on the worktop but if you haven’t got room for that – and it will bring your cabinet run to 90cm instead of 60cm deep – then a narrow channel like this behind which you can stack plates, chopping boards and even herbs without them getting in the way or falling over is a very clever thing *adds to notes*.
This is the other end of the room where the lighter cabinet and wall colour takes over the whole space and creates a light and bright and airy dining room. But what I most like about this is the giant sliding doors between this room and the sitting room.
It won’t work for many of us although if you were moving your kitchen to the middle of the house rather than its traditional spot at the back it may be something to consider.
I’m also very keen on the cream and navy colour palette – in brighter versions this can be a bit “seaside” but here, in these dark and muted versions, it manages to be enhance the period features while bringing them up to date and it’s a palette that has been adhered to throughout the house.
Here is the back kitchen which leads to the garden – perhaps this is where you come when you have been tending to the vegetables as the other one has windows but no doors to the garden. This one, with its cladding and wooden worktop, also has a more rustic feel than the other with its wall cabinets and marble counter. If you’re vacillating between two looks this is quite a good comparison.
The back kitchen is across the hall from this pantry which is a sort of Toast catalogue dream. Most of us will never have a space this large, or a ceiling this high but it’s a space to dream about. Imagine floating in from the garden with a basket of vegetables which you can rinse in the sink while you unload the washing machine and load up the trusty Sheila before tending to your seedlings which are growing in front of the window. You see why I’m moving. This fantasy would last me about ten minutes before I need to check my phone but I like the idea.
Below is, perhaps the outdoor kitchens – because we are truly short of kitchen spaces in this house but again what a gorgeous room. This would be my office – perhaps my summer office as it’s bound to be cold in winter when you could move inside because guess what…
Here’s the study and this is a gorgeous colour palette of soft brownish grey – look for something called Mole or Donkey or similar if you love this colour which just loves that splash of soft orange in the lamp and the rug. This may have been painted all out in the same colour and it shows you the effect as it’s lighter on the ceiling and the shadows around the shelves in the alcove almost look like they have been painted darker to highlight the shelves. This is what less is more means. One colour can do all this work on its own depending on the light which, would, of course, change throughout the day so why add more colours into the mix. Do bear in mind though that you will need two different types of paint – one for walls and one for woodwork although you can get some all surface paints – just make sure you check.
Moving upstairs and I’ll let you wander round the five bedrooms on your own although it’s worth noting that one is en suite and the others are fighting for the other bathroom so you might want to convert one of the bedrooms as the ratio of kitchens to bathrooms might be the exact opposite of what you actually need. Unless you are a cookery book author in which case, winning as you’d never need to spend money on location hire.
Moving past this very pretty landing with views over the countryside beyond and stopping at the first bathroom, which looks very pretty under its sloping ceiling, but there no shower and it would be hard to add one in this space without major work and even then as you don’t want the shower in front of the window it wouldn’t be easy.
But you could always sneak in here for one. This is a good example of squeezing a tiny bathroom into a corner of a room. The width of this is dictated by the leg room in front of the loo – needs to be at least 51cm (according to building regs) and more if you can. A standard loo is around 70-75 deep so add your 50 and you need about 1.25m to install it. A standard shower tray is 80cm so that would give you a generous space and you can fit the basin between the two. Here – because of the way this room has been fitted into the bedroom the doors open outwards – a set of narrow double doors which will take up less room when open in the room beyond but if you are using the full width of your bedroom then a sliding door will take up less space and means you should put the basin in the middle or opposite wherever the door will be opening so you aren’ staring at a loo or shower when the door is open.
And that’s the end of today’s plumbing lesson. So does anyone fancy this house? I’m sure I could find a way to utilise all those kitchens.